I had heard the rumor. I thought it was perhaps just THAT...a rumor. Because REALLY...How could my OB/GYN even consider retiring? How could he think of doing that to me? When I dramatically shared these concerns with Robby, he simply said, "Barbara, the man has been doing this for a long time; give him a break." HMPH! Obviously he didn't realize how important an OB/GYN was to a woman.
When I first sought out an OB/GYN, I was looking for someone who would be nice to me, spend time listening to me and...OK, not fuss at me when I gained too much weight during my pregnancies. My first child was delivered by my first OB/GYN and then when Robby changed jobs, working for the other hospital in town, I was required to choose a doctor there since our new insurance required us to only pay $50 for a delivery. Yep! Good reason to change, huh? Well, I really wasn't all that excited about changing doctors because a woman sorta gets attached to the guy who delivers her babies. Well, I changed doctors about 28 years ago and now he was retiring.
When I chose my doctor it was because he was highly recommended by all the expectant moms in town. He was a really nice, good old country boy who always had time for his patients; he wasn't one to rush in and out of the examination room. He delivered my next three kids and become attached to him, I did. I really didn't ever want to see any of his partners during my pregnancies and only did so because it was required since they might have been the one on call and have to deliver me. I told them that wouldn't happen since I would be crossing my legs and holding the baby in until MY doctor came back on call. HEY! Don't laugh; I actually called one morning when I woke up in labor and the answering service told me that my doctor was not on call. I asked what time he would be there, hung up the phone and waited until her got there to go to the hospital. So, when I heard that he might be retiring, I became distraught (I'm a bit dramatic, I know...).
I had called the office for my yearly check-up and the receptionist told me that he had recently undergone surgery and wasn't back yet; I would have to make an appointment with one of his partners. WHAT?! OH NO...I didn't know that guy; how could I let him examine me?! Well, I guess I could do it just this once and then SURELY my guy would be back next year. I had managed to self soothe myself for the moment. That's when I found out that my doctor and I would be at the same social function over the weekend and I decided that I would just find out for myself if the "retirement rumors" were true or false.
Well, I found out that indeed the rumors were true. I told him that I couldn't believe that he was retiring and then he told me about his surgery (OK...I did feel bad about that) and how he had not planned to retire; that's just the way it turned out. He also told me that he had been practicing for 35 years and apparently he started in my clinic right about the time I became his patient. I told him that I was not very excited about seeing his partner...after all, I had chosen HIM (not his partner...) for MY doctor. UGH!!! Now, I was just going to have to suck it up and get through my yearly check-up and then decide what I would do from there.
As the day for my appointment drew near, I became more and more nervous and agitated about seeing a new OB/GYN; he didn't know me and I didn't know him and...well, I wasn't sure what his personality was like at all and when it came down to it, I wasn't sure I was comfortable with some new guy examining me (modesty after birthing four kids?!...YOU BET!). When the day arrived, I braced myself and silently vowed that if I didn't like this new guy or even absolutely hated him, it could be a one time only thing; I would have a whole year to look for someone else. The nurse called me back, asked me a few questions and then told me to stay dressed and just have a seat since the doctor would want to talk to me before the exam. OK...That was one point in the new guy's favor. He didn't know me either so he wanted to make a formal introduction before he examined me. When he walked in, he introduced himself to me and made some conversation and I actually found that he wasn't too bad. He then left the room and told me he would be back for the exam. I hopped upon the table and noticed that a pair of smiley face socks had been placed on the stirrups...point 2 for the new guy. How bad could he be if he put smiley face socks on stirrups? After the exam was complete, he had his consult with me in his office where he made some more conversation about my kids and grand kid...OK, he was beginning to grow on me (a little...). I left the office feeling alright. The new guy wasn't so bad.
We women get attached to our doctors for many reasons. My doctor delivered three of my four children; those were three very important events in my life. I don't like change; I prefer the familiar. But unfortunately, life does change and sometimes it is when we least expect it. I will admit that in my mind, I didn't WANT to like the new guy, however, I found that "different" doesn't always mean bad. Will I change over as the new guy's patient or will I look for another clinic? Hmmm...I guess I could give the new guy a chance...for now.